Past event

Wilderness Festival, 2019

3 August 2019

During the first weekend of 2019, Letters Live returned to Oxfordshire to entertain the crowds at the picturesque Wilderness Festival – the third visit in as many years. As headliners of the festival’s Talks and Debates programme, Letters Live took over the gorgeous Atrium stage to wow the audience with a stellar cast of readers.


Wilderness is an award-winning festival of music, food, arts, learning, literature and rejuvenation which began in 2011 amongst the lakes, forests and parkland of Oxfordshire’s exquisite Cornbury Estate.


Saturday, 3rd August 2019
Adrian Edmondson

Cease and desist

The Beano to Jacob Rees Mogg

With utter love

Rik Mayall to Billie-Jo and David


Ferdinand Kingsley

Strip down, facing me

Tony Capezza to The Lowell Sun

What gloomy tidings about the CRABS

Patrick Leigh Fermor to Enrica Soma


Jennifer Saunders


Lydia Davis to Funeral parlour

Seat 29E

A customer to Continental Airlines


Jessie Buckley

We formed only one being

Maud Gonne to Yeats


John Lloyd

We all feel like that now and then

Archibald Kerr to Reginald Pembroke


Lemn Sissay

Herbs is his Majesty’s

Lee “Scratch” Perry to Tokyo’s Minister of Justice

Yours with real concern

Graham Chapman to The bank


Louise Brealey

No funny business

F. S. Coldrick to Daily Mail

Fuck the art world pressures

Lucy Lippard to A young woman artist


Minnie Driver

Dear Internet

Tina Fey to Internet commenters


Noma Dumezweni

I’m amputating you

Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

Even my bones seem to cry for you

Georgia O’Keefe to Alfred Stieglitz


Olivia Colman

Dear Stranger

Remedios Varo to A stranger

I am in receipt of your final demand

Naval Officer to A creditor


Ophelia Lovibond

I love her more than anything

Martha Gellhorn to Lucy Moorehead


Rose McGowan

You can’t eradicate violence by using more violence

Yayoi Kusama to Richard Nixon

Take him

Cassy Murdoch to Draft Board


Sunday, 4th August 2019
Adrian Edmondson

Blow ’em away, kid

Nick Cave to Ptolemy

How beautiful!

Salvador Dali to Federico Garcia Lorca

Dear Lupin

Roger Mortimer to Son


Ellie Bamber

Enough is enough

Marguerite Louise D’Orleans to Cosimo III De Medici

You are superior to all

Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo


Ferdinand Kingsley

I was horrified

A reader to Viz

Perhaps on our way to Mars

Cary Grant to His daughter

I want to crawl up inside you

Patrick to Jessica (Star Wars love letter)


Jennifer Saunders

You are part of me



Jessie Buckley

The High Road

B. Perry to Metro

I miss my biggest heart

Emily Dickinson to Susan Gilbert


John Lloyd

A gross failure of responsibility

Martin Hammond to Stanley Johnson


Lemn Sissay

Wait for the stanza until it comes

Yuan Mei to A friend

Europe is home

Various to The Times


Louise Brealey

Woman of the Year

Lydia Davis to ABI

When Death Comes

Aidan Kingwell to Mary Oliver

I told you he was crazy

A disgruntled neighbour to the landlord of Hunter S. Thompson


Noma Dumezweni

Dear Editor

Adrian Piper to Various editors


Olivia Colman

The worst specimen I have met

D. Blakey to Irish Lights

I know, Mother, I know

Anne Sexton to Linda Sexton


Olivia Colman and Jennifer Saunders

Christopher’s choking!

Karen A. to Dear Dolly


Ophelia Lovibond

Maybe we should ban suits

Henry Stewart to Guardian
I do hope she is all right

Gerald(ine) Vinestock to <em<The Times